The Daksha Fellow Newsletter | Why is India silent about Myanmar?

Welcome to the Daksha Fellow Newsletter, a bi-weekly collection of essays written by our Fellows on pertinent and recent developments in the world of tech, law and regulation etc.

Written by Saiyed Kamil

Apart from its 1600-km border, Myanmar is a country that shares a profound cultural and historical bond with India. Still, India has been eerily silent on the recent military coup that has overwhelmed Myanmar with the bloodshed that followed. India is a dominant player in the South Asian region and a staunch supporter of democracy in Myanmar for decades. In such a case, India being mum about it does not fit well. In this post, I have tried to explain this incoherent attitude of the Indian government.

I will save your time by encapsulating the gist of the following paragraphs – India needs the help of Tatmadaw (Military of Mynamar). India has always supported the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar and the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi. Earlier, they had also snapped their ties with the military of Myanmar for their subversion of democracy. But, things changed in 1991. North-eastern states of India were seeing major Anti-India insurgency movements. Since the northeastern states share a close cultural relationship and a porous 1600-km border with Myanmar, the insurgents often fled to Myanmar to get respite from Indian authorities. So, India realized that to keep things in control in their own country by controlling the insurgents’ operations, they need the cooperation of Tatmadaw.

North-eastern states are still not the most stable states in the country, and that’s why India would like to be good with Tatmadaw. Secondly, since India snapped its ties with Tatamadow when it was ruling Myanmar, China crept into the vacuum that got created. Now India wouldn’t want a heavy presence of its enemy in another neighboring country, so it’s trying not to alienate the military.

By no means am I defending the actions of the Indian government here, just laying the factors India is considering before acting.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions presented here are solely those of the writer. Daksha Fellowship neither endorses nor subscribes to any of them.

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